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Where are all the jobs? SA’s best city to find a job

Finding the cheapest place to live in South Africa could lead to better work-life balance

Johannesburg is the best city to find a job in South Africa, while Pietermaritzburg is the hardest, according to the latest research from Johannesburg is in full supply of jobs in sectors like IT, finance and engineering, but seems to have little to offer to those employed within the healthcare, retail, and HR departments. Although Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria has a high demand for skilled IT professionals, Durban and the East Rand aren’t following the trend and opt for admin skills instead.

Adzuna ranked the top 10 cities in South Arica by comparing vacancies in our comprehensive search index of over 140,000 live jobs to the number of claimants in each city from the latest data. We also analysed the distribution of job titles and categories to determine which jobs are highest in demand in each city and province.

The results show that there are huge variations in the prospects for jobseekers across the country, and considerable differences in the types of roles that are in demand across South Africa’s most popular cities. Even with a staggering unemployment rate, it appears that the SA job market isn’t buckling under the pressure.


The best city to find a job in SA

The city of Johannesburg is currently the best city to find a job in the country with over 16,000 jobs advertised at the end of September 2019. The City of Gold’s employment growth continues to be boosted by tech developments, with the number of IT sector vacancies in the city making up 39% of all IT jobs in South Africa.

Johannesburg and Cape Town were neck-in-neck, suggesting a continuing of the battle for the hub of the country. Pretoria came in in third place while Durban and the East Rand took fourth and fifth places respectively.

Pietermaritzburg is one of the hardest cities to find a job with just 373 jobs on offer. Engineering seems to be a rare bright spot in Pietermaritzburg, with more than 30% of the city’s advertised vacancies in the engineering sector. Bloemfontein comes second, with just 432 vacancies, roughly 0.5% of the number of jobs currently on offer in the country. East London, the Winelands of the Western Cape and Port Elizabeth round out the worst 5 areas.


Applicants have the best shot at landing jobs in Cape Town and Johannesburg

Adzuna also looked at population stats, which determines how many applicants there are to each job listed in South Africa’s major cities.

Although Cape Town didn’t have the most jobs on offer, the fact that it’s not as densely populated as Johannesburg means that there are more jobs per candidate here than anywhere else in the country. Johannesburg followed in second place, with 58 applicants per job. Durban, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth made up the rest of the top 5 list of the easiest places in the country to apply for (and possibly be interviewed) for a job.


Top sectors in SA

South Africa’ top job sectors in demand are engineering, IT, and finance. Strong demand for a limited supply of skilled professionals in IT and engineering reflects in the salaries for these roles too, with the average salaries for these jobs being three times as much as the average national salary per year.